No 86 November 2011

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No 86 November 2011 Powered By Docstoc
					                    NEWSLETTER No 86 – NOVEMBER 2011
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Well the rainy season has started and all the usual places flooded very quickly – Beach Road south of Samui International
                                   Hospital and Dow Market as I write this. Some debate as to whether this is the NE
                                   Monsoon setting in or just heavy tropical storms. Well the weather charts indicate the
                                   wind is from the east so it is certainly moving in the right direction. What is more
                                   interesting is if the new drainage that has been installed will cope with the floods or not.
                                   The are just in the process of completing the new drainage outside our office and they
                                   have used large pre-cast concrete sections buried underground with large drain covers
                                   which we hope will be big enough to cope. Certainly better than the weed filled ditch we
                                   had before. The other advantage for us is that the rather insubstantial bridge across the
                                   ditch to our office has now gone and been replaced with a concrete driveway.

The Local Authority has over recent weeks been promoting their “Disaster Planning” following the severe damage suffered
by the island over the last twelve months. This extends from dealing with floods, to landslides, long power failures and
even a tsunami. Additional emergency vehicles were seen arriving on the island including fire engines and ambulances
together with large pumps. We have seen an improvement over recent years as new drainage has been installed in that the
floods have dispersed rapidly once the rain has stopped. I doubt we will ever see the large monsoon drains that you can
see in Singapore or even Los Angeles, but work has been done to clear the Chaweng Klong. Obviously Samui has not
suffered in the same way as the north of Thailand and Bangkok.

If you are considering opening a Personal Savings Account, have the following in mind. If you open joint account, you will
probably not get internet banking – this has been the experience of two of our clients recently with Bangkok Bank (who
actually have a very good internet banking system) and Siam Commercial Bank (who do not). If you want internet banking it
seems it must be in a single name. Please do not ask me to explain the logic to this. If I have a joint account with my wife
we can both have ATM cards and can take money from the bank but no internet banking. If I have a sole account she
cannot access my internet account but I can give her the access details so she can use it.

The real estate market seems to be going through an inconsistent phase, although one could probably say that about much
of the last couple of years, but enquiries seem to ebb and flow from many to none from week to week. What is consistent
however is the number of properties being newly listed which is of course adding to the stock available. If you check our
Newsletters for the past few months you will see we are adding properties all the time. I wish we were selling them at the
same rate. All these properties are being offered by a number of agents on the island so they all have plenty of exposure to
buyers. The consequence of course is that buyers have more and more choice and are very price conscious. Sales are
happening, but your property has to be correctly priced or it will get passed over.

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A number of new properties on the market again this month but not many price reductions. There still remains no clear
direction to the market but I do not think prices will go any lower in the immediate future – except those where the asking
price is still at historic levels. In the past month we have seen fewer reductions in asking prices of but those we have seen
have been between 17% and 56% with an average of 26% since I started maintaining records of reductions.

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We are fortunate in being allowed a pre-launch look at what is probably the best sea-view land with full infrastructure in
Samui. Situated on a ridge on the south-west of the island, these individual plots of land have magnificent sea views
across to the mainland and also to the Five Islands. Some plots have the benefit of views to both the east and west. All
services are installed including a concrete road, underground three phase electricity, filtered water supply from the estates
own reservoir and high speed Broadband fibre optic cabling for internet, telephone and television services. Whilst you are
free to design your own villa within certain reasonable parameters, there is a range of designs available for inspiration.

 Ko Samui Properties have been fortunate in being involved with this land for some time as Project Managers of two of the
  recently completed villas and can therefore guide you through the acquisition and planning of your dream home on this
                magnificent land. Please see further details on our web page here – or contact us direct at

See also in particular the following New Listings and Price Reductions – CTRL + click to follow the link:

                      NEW LISTING
                      5 Bedroom Beach Front Luxury Villa in Tong Krut
                      Available at Baht 90,000,000

                      NEW LISTING
                      4 Bedroom Luxury Sea View Villa in Nathon
                      Available at Baht 29,500,000

                      NEW LISTING
                      2 Bedroom Mountain View Villa with pool in Bophut Hills
                      Available at Baht 12,000,000

                      NEW LISTING
                      Three Bedroom Sea View Villa with pool in Taling Ngam
                      Available at Baht 11,250,000

                      NEW LISTING
                      Large 3 Bedroom Villa with pool in Lipa Noi
                      Available at Baht 18,000,000

                      NEW LISTING
                      10 Bungalow Resort in Bangrak – Investment Property
                      Available at Baht 18,900,000

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                    NEW LISTING
                    3/4 Bedroom Villa in secluded managed estate with a Pool in Maenam
                    Available at Baht 13,500,000

                    NEW LISTING
                    4 Bed House with pool in Chaweng Noi
                    Available at Baht 17,000,000

                    NEW LISTING
                    3 or 4 Bed Ocean View Villa with pool
                    Available at Baht 14,000,000

                    NEW LISTING
                    3 Bedroom Modern Villa on private estate in Maenam
                    Available at Baht 12.2 million

                    3 Bed Villa with pool in Bangrak
                    Available at Baht 7 million

                   NEW LISTING
                   2 Bedroom Bungalow with communal pool in Bangrak
                   Available at Baht 4 million

                   PRICE REDUCTION
                   4 Bed Garden View Villa with Pool in Bangrak
                   Previously Baht 12 Million – Now Available at Baht 9,900,000

                   PRICE REDUCTION
                   4/5 Bedroom Villa in secluded managed estate with a Pool in Maenam
                   Previously Baht 17.5 Million – Now available for Baht 16.95 Million.

         For Festivals around Thailand visit the Tourist Authority of Thailand website.

Samui Express is on line and you can find them here
And you can find The Samui Gazette here -
Notice on the Samui Express Web Site – so not so much news from them this month
“We are redesigning for better and improved visitor experience. News updates have been suspended. Please check us
back soon.”

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Le Méridien Resorts Expands in Thailand                                            World Property Channel October 2011
Starwood Hotels & Resorts just announced that Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa has officially opened to guests and visitors.
Located on Lamai Beach, Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa is a chic and intimate resort with a unique blend of stylish
amenities, luxury services, an inspiring atmosphere and rich, cultural experiences that offers guests a new perspective.
Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa goes beyond the traditional five-star hotel experience and invites guests to discover more
than just a new destination - to experience a new perspective with a focus on contemporary art and cuisine.
The resort is on the eastern side of the island away from busy Chaweng beach, but with equally close proximity to the airport and
island attractions. Inspired by Koh Samui's timeless beauty and diverse cultural influences, Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa
features an intimate selection of 77 stylish suites and villas arranged in the footprint of a traditional Asian seaside village.
See the full article here

Battle lines are drawn in Koh Samui brand quest                                 Phuket Gazette                5 October 2011
PHUKET: Samui and Phuket continue to be described as the Yin and Yang of resort island destinations. Characteristics that they
both share are that both are islands in Thailand that champion tourism as the overall economic prosperity jackpot. But beyond the
obvious, many questions remain about how much they differ.

After recently completing a mid-year hotel market update for Samui, I find myself asking: What’s the real story on that other island?

Viewing the rest of the year, an influx of global hotel chains onto the scene is undoubtedly the headline. Seemingly under a slogan of
"Bring it on!", names such as InterContinental, Conrad, Le Meridien, Accor and Moevenpick will all be selling – or at least renting –
beds by the end of 2011.

Luxury also has a good foothold on the island as evidenced by many of the resorts bearing desirous monikers such as Four
Seasons, Banyan Tree, Starwood’s chic and trendy W and Orient-Express. Other well-known brands targeting broader market
properties include affiliations to Renaissance, Centara, Six Senses, Ibis, and Outrigger.

Stepping into the hallowed halls of Destination Branding 101, we find scribbled on the chalkboard a single sentence along with a
familiar quizzical ending: Will more brands induce more tourists to visit Samui?

Are we at the beginning of a new and more refined milestone in the industry’s cyclical pathway? Or is this just "brandspeak" hype?

In many consumer models, brands without a doubt act as a catalyst to generate demand. Look at upscale shopping malls that rely
on well known leading brands to provide an anchor attraction.

Consumerism at times is a predictable venture, though of course shoppers can be as fickle as schizophrenics. Shopfronts key into
brand awareness and resort destinations are no different.

Taking a step back from my love of the Phuket numbers based growth model, and getting my boots back on the ground, I personally
think that much of the new Samui hotel product is more scalable, offering new designs and products. This prompts the prediction
that more Yin and Yang competition will be seen in the future.

However, the largest obstacle in Samui’s path to growth remains airlift. It’s quite hard to cast aspersions on Bangkok Airways, which
operates the private airport and has a commercial stranglehold on transport to and from Samui.

Years ago, when the island was accessible only by sea, the company put up their own money, took on risk and at times suffered in
pioneering the destination. I recall media mogul Rupert Murdoch saying something along the lines of "a monopoly is a terrible thing,
until you have one."

At the heart of the issue is the government’s neutral stance toward developing a second, larger public airport to handle wide-body
aircraft. As the private sector continues to ramp up new hotel and property projects without any zoning or intervention by means of a
long-term sustainable tourism plan, the end result is what might best be described as "It’s complicated."

Some people remain of the opinion that Samui should stay small and exclusive, and this indeed has merit. But what this scenario
does not consider is the fundamental disconnect that has allowed, and is continuing to allow, new hotels to go into the pipeline.

More development on the outlying islands of Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Tao is also displacing airlift. Perhaps the most visible example
of this is the increasingly popular Full Moon parties. A variety of travelers fly in from domestic and international destinations and
simply travel onward to the event.

As in Phuket, the Samui airport gateway is providing a "Greater Samui" horizon that requires more airplane seats to quell the
savage beast of tourism.

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Lopping it all into two words for the moment, Samui’s story is about brands and airlift. These in reality are not Yin and Yang at all,
but more aptly "star-crossed lovers".

As for my own rant, Thailand’s government simply cannot stay glued to their seats on the airport issue and needs to create a forward
looking strategy now.

Phuket Property Watch is Phuket Gazette columnist Bill Barnett's weekly feature relating to the local market.

Bill Barnett is Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks and can be contacted through

New spa resort opens in Koh Samui
Great Hotels of the World has expanded its portfolio of international properties with the opening of a new five-star resort in Koh
Samui, Thailand.
The Mantra Samui Resort and Spa opened its doors on October 10th following a three and a half year development.
Guests can choose from 74 room concepts, offering amenities and services that are designed specifically for particular
demographics, such as couples looking for luxury and families prioritising space and convenience.
The new property also features a fully equipped fitness centre and juice bar, a movie theatre that can be booked for private
screenings and a yoga studio built from Himalayan salt bricks, where visitors can attend a range of classes.
Holidaymakers planning to relax and make the most of their destination can visit an outdoor infinity pool with built-in sun beds,
choose from a selection of treatments at the spa or use a complimentary shuttle service to reach a nearby beach.
There are two restaurants on-site - Ubuntu, which serves contemporary international cuisine as well as traditional Thai food, and
Damma Dining, which is advertised as a "unique" gastronomic experience and limited to 12 people per night.
Robert Mayer, general manager of Mantra Samui, said: "We are delighted that after three and a half years of hard work, Mantra
Samui is open for business.
"We have built a unique team to create a unique hotel where we can share our passion for hospitality with friends. Our goal is to
make every guest feel better than they do in their own home."

Samui Airport Expanding Terminal                                                           Phuket Insider      27 October 2011
Bangkok Airways will be expanding the Koh Samui Airport with two new passengers halls next year.
Reportedly a THB50 million budget has been allocated and the airline expects to increase passengers handling with the new
facilities. Recent media stories have surfaced about a private group looking to establish a new airport on the mainland in Don Sak
near to Surat Thani. While this is 45 minutes away from the aforementioned existing airport and effectively that much closer to
Samui, given the time , cost and scale needed to develop a new entry, logically the current Surat Thani airport should be a far more
viable solution to aid the island's airlift problem.

Thailand Promotes Itself as New Luxury MICE Destination                            openPR Exclusive              7 October 2011
(openPR) - The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) are expecting 720,000 MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions
and exhibitions) visitors to Thailand this year which will generate US $1.9 billion in revenue. Over the past two years, the MICE
tourism in Thailand had grown tremendously. According to Akapol Sorasuchart, the President of TCEB, Thailand is now positioning
itself as the new luxury MICE destination. This is due to the paradigm shift in the MICE industry towards luxury MICE activities.

The successful campaign promoted by the TCEB outlining Thailand’s potential known as ‘Believe in Thailand’ highlighted four
strengths; professional services, world-class facilities and infrastructure, a diverse choice of destinations and countless business
opportunities. TCEB believes Thailand possesses all of the key qualities for MICE events and particular Phuket and Koh Samui are
being marketed as incentive meeting locations.

SilkAir offer Koh Samui to Aussies                                    Central Queensland News                  27 October 2011
SINGAPORE Airlines' SilkAir is offering Australian travellers award-winning service to the tropical paradise destination of Koh
Samui, Thailand.
Launching flights through Singapore using the Singapore Airlines network, SilkAir is adding Koh Samui to its burgeoning list of
Thailand destinations.
Operating on a thrice-weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, SilkAir's A319 aircraft indulges both economy and
business passengers.
"We are delighted to add Koh Samui to our growing network of destinations. We are confident that many will enjoy this beautiful
beach destination which is renowned for its white sandy beaches and blue inviting waters," said SilkAir's CEO, Marvin Tan.


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